Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Issued at 10:46 am WST on Tuesday 17 May 2022 Flood Watch Number: 3

FLOODING MAY DEVELOP IN THE PILBARA COASTAL RIVERS, FORTESCUE RIVER, ONSLOW COAST, ASHBURTON RIVER, DE GREY RIVER AND SANDY DESERT CATCHMENTS

An upper trough will deepen a slow-moving surface trough over the Pilbara district today, resulting in the formation of a cloudband with embedded thunderstorms. The trough and associated cloudband are forecast to weaken on Wednesday.

In the 24 hours to 9:00 am Tuesday, rainfall totals up to 75 mm have been recorded over the flood watch area.

Catchments in the Flood Watch area are moderately dry with some areas still wet with isolated areas of flooding from last weeks rainfall, particularly around Pannawonica and Onslow.

Heavy rainfall is forecast to continue over the Pilbara district, extending further inland during the day and overnight to reach central desert areas and the northeastern Gascoyne during Wednesday. Six-hourly rainfall totals between
70 and 100 mm are likely for the Pilbara, with isolated totals around 120 mm possible about the coastal fringe. Further inland, six-hourly rainfall totals between 60 to 90 mm are likely.

While heavy falls are not uncommon through this area, they are unusual at this time of year.

Flooding of low lying areas and river rises are expected. Many roads, and possibly primary and secondary highways, may be affected. Some communities and homesteads may become isolated. Check road conditions before travelling.

Please raise awareness among travellers who may be expecting dry conditions at this time of the year.

A severe weather warning is current for parts of Pilbara and Interior districts.

Catchments likely to be affected include:

De Grey River

Pilbara Coastal Rivers

Fortescue River

Onslow Coast

Ashburton River

Sandy Desert

This flood watch is available by dialling 1300 659 213. For more information on the Flood Watch Service visit http://www.bom.gov.au/water/floods/floodWarningServices.shtml

Flood Safety Advice:
DFES advises people and communities to be aware that flooding is possible and be prepared to relocate equipment and livestock. Watch water levels. Travellers need to be aware that road conditions may be adversely affected and travel plans may need to be reconsidered. Do not drive into water of unknown depth and velocity.

Community information is available from DFES at https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/

Current river levels are available from Department of Water and Environmental Regulation at www.water.wa.gov.au/maps-and-data/monitoring/river-level-monitoring



Rainfall and River Conditions Map